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Đọc kinh

Đọc kinh (Vietnamese: [ɗàwkp kɨɲ]) is the Vietnamese Catholic term for reciting a prayer or sacred text. In communal worship settings, đọc kinh is characterized by cantillation, or the ritual chanting of prayers and responses.[1][2] To Westerners, this form of prayer can be mistaken for song.


Within the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, Vietnamese liturgical practise is distinct in its extensive use of cantillation: all prayers and responses during the Mass are either sung or chanted, but never spoken.[2] Thus, the Lord's Prayer is recited differently during the Mass than in a private setting. Gregorian chant is not used in a Vietnamese-language Mass; it is entirely omitted from Vietnamese translations of the Roman Missal and Order of Mass.[3]

It is suspected that cantillation in Lao and Hmong Catholic liturgies is due to Vietnamese influence. Cantillation is far from universal among tonal languages, but Fuzhou Catholics in Fujian have a similar practise.[3]


Vietnamese cantillation is neither composed nor improvised; it follows a formula in which each of the Vietnamese language's six tones corresponds to a specific note or sequence.[4] Depending on the diocese, tones are organized along a scale of two or three notes (dấu trụ).[5] For example, parishes in the former West Tonkin diocese use the three-note scale of fa-sol-la, so the incipit of the Hail Mary is rendered:[6]

{ \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
 \relative g' { \autoBeamOff a8 f8 g8 g8 g8 f8 g8 a8 a8 a8 f8 f16[ g16] f8 f8 }
 \addlyrics {
  Kính mừng Ma -- ri -- a đầy ơn phúc, Đức Chúa Trời ở __ cùng Bà

See also


  1. ^ Kiều, Tùng Công (2009). A Project on Developing Catholic Liturgical Music in Vietnam (PDF) (S.T.M.). Boston University. pp. 71–72. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Zaragoza, Rufino (November 2001). "The Sacred Sound of Đọc Kinh: Exploring the Sonic World of Vietnamese Chanting". Ministry & Liturgy. San Jose, California: Resource Publications. Archived from the original on 2002-01-05. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Nguyễn Xuân Thảo; Zaragoza, Rufino (March 1, 2012). "Doc Kinh: A Vietnamese Sonic Landscape" (PDF). Pastoral Music. National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Reyes, Adelaida (1999). Songs of the Caged, Songs of the Free: Music and the Vietnamese Refugee Experience. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 1-56639-685-9.
  5. ^ Ngọc Kôn (2012). "Sáng tác Đáp ca & Đối ca" [Composing Responsoria & Antiphona] (PDF). Thánh Nhạc Ngày Nay (in Vietnamese). Ho Chi Minh City: 12–13.
  6. ^ Khổng Vĩnh Thành. "Thánh Vịnh Đáp Ca: Hát, Ngâm, hay Đọc?" [Responsorial Hymns: Song, Declamation, or Recitation?] (PDF). Hương Trầm (in Vietnamese). Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City (11): 14–15. Retrieved June 10, 2013.

External links